The Skagerrak, a specialised cable laying vessel belonging to cable maker Nexans, is about to return to sea following the successful completion of a major conversion and upgrading project. The work was carried out at the Cammell Laird dockyard in Birkenhead, England, where the £8 million, two-month, fast-track refit increased the vessel’s capability to carry out large scale power cable and umbilical installation projects, to meet the changing needs of customers in the subsea interconnector and oil & gas sectors. It has also extended her service life and increased her autonomy while at sea.

The major element in the project has been the insertion of a new 12.5 m pre-fabricated hull section that has increased the ship’s overall length to 112.25 m. An additional accommodation module has also been installed, taking the total number of single cabins on board to 60, together with a new working deck with cable-handling equipment, that has increased the on-deck storage capacity to around 2000 m2 (from 900 m2). The upgrade has increased the vessel’s deadweight from 7886 to 9373 tonnes.